Calcasieu officials plan for winter weather, urge residents to b - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu officials plan for winter weather, urge residents to be alert

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CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Local officials with the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness along with local government representatives are already at work ahead of Tuesday and Wednesday's anticipated winter weather. 

"Right now we're anticipating as much as a quarter inch of ice accumulation" said Andy Patrick with the National Weather Service.  "Possibly freezing rain starting tomorrow and then it gets a little iffy as to when sleet and snow turns over and so forth".

Officials say the next few days may compare to one of the worst winter events in area history, the ice storm of 1997.  That's why officials are urging residents to be prepared for any and everything. 

"Make sure you take care of your family, your pets your house and be prepared for power outages in case those happen" said OEP Director, Dick Gremillion. 

"Use good sense in taking out old heaters/space heaters" said Lake Charles Fire Chief Keith Murray.  "Running piling wood into a fire place that is not used that hard....Making sure it's clean and making sure the flues are open"

State Police ask residents to stay off the roads, but say if you have to travel, be aware. 

"Please reduce your speed and please ensure that your seatbelt is on" said Sergeant James Anderson with Louisiana State Police.  "Make sure that you're allowing ample space between you and other vehicles... If you do encounter a slide, make sure you take the foot off the accelerator, steer enter the skid and that you don't use your brakes" he added.

The best piece of advice: 

"Stay home unless you have to be out" said Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso. "Go do those things that you need to do today.  Get what you need supply wise to get through a day or two and we'll take care of the rest". 

Officials ask residents not to dial 9-1-1 for information rather allow that number to be used for emergencies.  

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